Moving right along in our How To Start A Blog Series, you’ve bought your domain name, selected a host, set up WordPress, and now it’s time to install must have WordPress plugins.
When I first started blogging, I started on Blogger. I liked that it was free and easy to use. I learned how to customize the blog but even so I felt a bit limited about what I could do. Then when I moved to WordPress I was amazed to learn that there are thousands of plugins that help add features to your blog without having to know how to code. Some plugins are free and some you have to buy.
Here are the plugins that I rely on and use the most:
Askimet – this plugin comes pre-installed and helps reduce comment spam you’ll get. When you start up WordPress and click “Plugins” on the left sidebar in your Admin dashboard, you’ll see it in the list. You’ll have to walk through some steps to set it up but it’s pretty simple.
Vaultpress – this is a paid monthly service that automatically backs up your blog and provides easy restores. I used to spend ages backing up my blog and worrying that I didn’t do it correctly or what I would do if I had to restore it. I love that Vaultpress provides peace of mind and frees up some of my time too.
WordPress SEO by Yoast – SEO is search engine optimization and it’s important for your blog to be SEO’d properly and this free plugin will automatically generate XML sitemaps, help tidy up your permalinks, and more. It also helps you improve the SEO of each individual post by analyzing your content and helping optimize your post titles and descriptions for Google.
Flare – this plugin gives you a social sharing bar, so readers can easily share your posts with their followers. There are many social sharing plugins out there but I like this one best because it stands out which makes it easy for readers to click to share, it offers a vertical sharing bar that travels down the side of your blog, and it is customizable to match every blog design.
Easy Recipe Plus – if you are going to post recipes on your blog this plugin will help keep the recipe format clean and easy to read. It also offers an easy print option so readers can just print the recipe without having to print the entire post. I also like that it lists your blog in the printed recipe as well so readers know where the recipe originated from.
These are just some of my favorite WordPress plugins. There are so many out there that it’s fun to try them out to customize your blog and make it your own. I’ll be sharing more of my favorites in future posts.
If you enjoyed this post you may also like the other posts in our How To Start A Blog Series.